Science of Parenting: Did Someone Die?

AMES, Iowa – When a child says, “I know Grandpa isn’t really dead. He’s just asleep,” how should a parent respond? During March, family life specialists discuss how parents can help children cope with the death of loved ones in the Science of Parenting blog from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

“As adults we know that death is an inevitable part of the life cycle. We go to funerals, send sympathy cards and offer support. Somehow we come to reconcile death as a part of life and learn to live with that knowledge,” said family life specialist Donna Donald.

“Children, too, will encounter death, but they don’t have adult coping skills. It is up to the significant adults in their lives to help children understand their feelings when a family member, friend or beloved pet dies," added family life specialist Lori Hayungs.

This month the ISU Extension and Outreach specialists will blog about how to help children as they encounter death. They will talk about addressing the needs of grieving children and explore resources.

Learn more from tips on the blog throughout the month and in a four-minute podcast. Through the Science of Parenting, www.scienceofparenting.org, ISU Extension and Outreach specialists share and discuss research-based information and resources to help parents rear their children. Parents can join in the conversation and share thoughts and experiences, as well as how they handle parenting responsibilities.
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